tv C-SPAN2 Weekend CSPAN December 1, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EST
about the liability questions here as we develop knowledge. first i'm going go to gill. a school board member locally. also father, was a father of the football player. tell us about the implications on schools as we learn more about this problem. >> okay. thank you, tom. my name is gill. i'm a school board member here in the northern virginia area. also --there's several things components to it.
first is education. the parents that are out there are still don't know about this issue by and large. and it goes all the way down to the youth sports league. my kids have played multiple sports. they played them all. we have been a big sports family with our boys. but with for the education component, there's still a ton that needs to be done at the beginning of last year, virginia is one of the states that has new mandating concussion training for public schools. >> great. that's great but okay. it's a law. okay the fact that there's legislation is good but not necessarily the effective. it really when you execute it, as where it really gets where you see the quality or not. some places they do it the education component is a few
forms you fill out and you send it back in and you are done. some places it's all online. that can be god or not. you click through it, the clicks and you are done and you can play. you gain no knowledge. what we did, is we implemented a -- first off, we made concussion education training mandatory for every player that plays any kind of athletic sports in the schools. rerecognize first off it's not just the football -- there are so damage many of them. and we make that mandatory in person for both the student and at least one parent both the middle school level before you can participate, and the high school level at least once. take it in middle school, you come back and you have to do it again in high school. every year have to through an online refresher type of training. that's an important component. i've had this is antidote tal.
if i can give you one number. we ran over 27,000 students and parents through that in-person training. so it can be done. i've had people tell me you can't do. yeah you can. but you still believe in football being valuable at the high school level; right? you've been through a personal experience. >> i'll be honest. my boys don't play football anymore. but that's a different conversation we can have. but actually it does tie to doctor. your five concussions or three in a game is not an aberration. i've seen my youngest played and the game he got his concussion, there was one other teammate that a concussion. the next day in practice the teammate con a concussion. that was a three 11-year-old on a two-day period with a roaster of 14 kids. from the education component,
>> i have. >> what do you think the tell us about the report and what you think the take away is? >> my report sk, you know, gill and his family have been through a lot. they -- their son austin suffered a concussion in a game, and, you know, he committed suicide very shortly thereafter. it's very much linked to the brain trauma he received. this is obviously an area of science that isn't totally well understood. i talked to doctor about it and others. there's more evidence that suggests that pretty strong connection there. but we already know that brain trauma is a big part of contact sports in football particularly. that's not really something being debated at this point. the question i have is sort of we're all talking about limiting the risk here. we're ibt talking about making things safer and scott
acknowledged we can't make the sport safe. we can try to make it safer. but most of the discussions i don't hear talk about what is an acceptable level of risk in the first place. especially with children. obviously with children it's different than talking about adult in the society. and it goes to, you know, socially, culturally, legally, we dpraw sort of -- dpraw sort of different lines. there's a moral question here as well. and i would put this on to everybody, i'm struggling to understand it myself. i don't understand the more i thought about this and the more i report on this t. how football that different from boxing on mixed marble arts. let's say have a 6-year-old having boxes league or a high school marshall arts team. everybody comes here on friday night and gets the community identity out and. joys the interment and have the
character-building things we associate with sports. people look at me like you're crazy. why would you suggest that? the more i learn about the brain trauma and the more i try to wrap my head around the yesterday h idea of is football that different from the other activities and sort of what is the larger cultural and moral question here? how are we going answer that? i'll open that to everybody. >> michael, i would like to turn to you. michael is a fop class action hant trust lawyer. involved in a number of interesting cases including the -- [inaudible] suing the ncaa on behalf of players for issues more relevant to the conversation you're involved with the nfl concussion lawsuits. right. as you hear the conversation, what runs there you mind as plaintiffs' lawyer are there
liability issues here in terms of the, you know, the lack of trained coaches, irresponsibility behavior by some. where is it headed? could we see the same type of litigation at the youth as we have seen from the nfl level. what exact might it have on forces coaches to get training or, you know, people adhering to responsible behavior at the lowest levels. can i start with a yes? >> i know. i know. the seven-barrel question. i apologize. >> the law offers and interesting perspective in the conflict in the discussion gone on today between dr. cantu who is advocating until science proves otherwise it's safest at least to preclude tackling and stay with flag football despite
the fact that there are efforts progressively to make the game safer. because what the law looks at is the perspective of safety as a whole in terms of the social aspects and the duty -- owed by those who run the game to those who play the game. and there's a continuum or scale of risk as patrick just said. and it's not just the risk of getting injuries. year never going have any sport that is risk free. that's totally sane. there's going to be some injury. a broken bone or whatever. you clearly here have enough science to understand there's a risk of concussion and a consequence to those concussions to which we're not appropriately creasing -- addressing. is if a matter of education, or does the law step in and say education is too slow, it's nice.
we're moving forward a safer game, but since we have identified this particular issue having this effect on a more vulnerable population, what, if anything, is the specialty be the league -- to those who play the game? and in that continuum and in that is balance of education versus duty. where do we draw the line or where does the law draw the line with respect to the youth football and this afternoon when demar russ was here. we talk about professional players. >> right. i got you. john. why don't you give your affiliation. >> shower.
sure. [inaudible] there's a bit of a bittersweet discussion for me as a soon -- son of a high school coach. i have proash csh brothers that played high school football. i have seen the wonderful things it can do to change lives. my hope. i enjoyed listening and learning more about the specific concussion issue. my hope is it sparks a much broader debate specifically what should be the role or what role is there a role for football in our junior highs and high schools? we have to have a serious, honest, open data driven discussion that centers around the issue of rush on -- return on educational dollars invested.
okay. football communities have to realize you don't operate in a vacuum. you're part of a larger community. okay. within the educational constitution. and we have to be realistic about the challenges the institutional faces. specifically standard are being raised. expectations are skyrocketing regarding our schools and what they need to do to instill in the young people an theation is worthy of the 21st century. all right. we live in an global community interrelated cultural community, economy, which is a challenge. they are being asked to do that against the backdrop of declining resources.
so i think we have to become more smarter and efficient with the resources. whether money, energy, time, motion associated with every single component of the educational institution. given the reality, every single component of the educational institution has to be evaluated based on what the return on investment of educational dollars including football. okay. so how do you do that? the way you do that is we have to go to the justification we have been using as been century. you have primary justification laws. part of it was to socialize in immigrant work force. the other major part of it is the great industrialist turn of the century were interested in football as a way to train work force for the industrial economy. they weren't folks who were physically fit.
took direction, were obedient, there wasn't much room for lot ofy thinking on ate semibelie line. okay is it primary justification -- we no long -- [inaudible] okay. the other justification that we have used for years and i do believe this justification is that football is a way -- it's an educational tool bilged character. just in team work, time management. all of those things. you can make a case you can make an honest case that football's ability or potential to continue to teach those wonderful lessons, okay, those wonderful lessons has actually been diminished over the past thirty
or forty years. the reason it's diminishing because of the cultural of elite sport in the country. it's become more about the end result, winning than it has about the process which is education. so you can make the argument that it's become less effective at teaching the bferl thingses. okay. it's naive to think people say the only way you learn the team work and discipline is through the organized sports or football. i played college and professional basketball you have guys working together with the common goal win. i have been in a five-piece band. and same exact characteristic are learned. okay football is not the only, you know, sport that only exeducation activity that does the things. finally the other big one is health. okay.
from the health and individual standpoint. we have to have an honest, honest data-driven debate about what is the proper role of e leath at lee the -- elite athletes or athletics in the school system. is it a system of the vast majority of resources are heaped upon the elite few at the top. pushing everybody else to the sidelines to watch and cheer. and one of the most e obesity nations on the planet. or should the role of sport in the educational system and the schools be to provide is broad based activity that they can practice for a lifetime for reason of public health. that's an honest debate. >> i have to -- need a break here. okay. my point. don't get to the concussion thing. point is i'm not saying eliminate football. maybe we need to consider
privatizing it outsourcing sourcing it. we are the only country on the planet with the responsibility for developing elite athletes and teams with educational institutions. everywhere else is clubs. so my hope is we have to have serious discussion data-driven discussion. if we truly believe what football is supposed to do and wonderful things. we should welcome that. okay. the question is, if we so that return on the investment evaluation and we find out that's valuable than we thought. we need invest more money in it. what if it isn't. what if it's not delivering on the educational return on dollar? what do we do as responsible citizens and parents? responsible educational leaders? >> it draws up a larger wider debate. >> yeah. we need to break and grab food. when we come back. i want to hear from warren.
our fear for saying you can only hit for 40 minutes of practice is the coaches say okay, we have 40 minutes, go ahead and do will drag them to that. what we tell them, don't spend your time hitting, spend your time teaching. we will see. we are not saying that is wrong. we are trying to different approach. we are all after the same goal. the other thing is i can't ever imagine, although the research is critical, i can't